Monday, July 18, 2016

"Red Hot" by Herb Alpert

Song#:  1722
Date:  12/10/1983
Debut:  83
Peak:  77
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Instrumental

Pop Bits:  Alpert's album Blow Your Own Horn featured the song "Garden Party," which hit #14 at AC while spending a month near the bottom of the Pop chart. Although this second single would do just slightly better at Pop, no other chart would host it and the song disappeared quickly along with the album. The song was produced by his nephew Randy Badazz Alpert. Badazz and Andy Armer wrote and produced Alpert's 1979 #1 hit "Rise."

ReduxReview:  Regardless of the version (see below), the song is not all that great. I'm sure there is some kind of melody amid all the horn tooting and background noise, but it is hard to pick it out. Unlike "Rise," which had an excellent, memorable melody, this one flounders about between some sort of chorus and a bunch of trumpet and sax scat. At the time, Alpert owned his own label (A&M), so he could virtually do anything he wanted. It seems like in this early 80s period he was just noodling around looking for a sound that the kids might dig in order to get another "Rise" out of it. Unfortunately, it just wasn't working.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although this may not technically be a cover tune as Alpert's version was issued first, this song was written by British songwriter/producer Howard Massey and it (most likely the demo) served as the b-side to a single that Massey released in 1981. The a-side of that single was "The Theme from Pop Quiz (Saturn Stomp)." That song was used as the theme to the BBC television program Pop Quiz, a game show that pits two teams of pop music stars against each other trying to answer questions about pop music. The show first aired in 1981 and initially ran for four seasons. It was brought back on three occasions, the last being in 2011. The show's Christmas special in 1984 was a game that featured members of Duran Duran vs. members of Spandau Ballet.  2) In addition to being somewhat of a cover, the song is also a repeat. It is a remix of a track Alpert had already recorded and included on his 1980 album Beyond. Apparently feeling that there was some life left in the song, the tune was updated from its disco-oriented production to something more modern.


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